Prince's estate felt Sinéad O’Connor “didn't deserve” to use “Nothing Compares 2 U” in new doc

Showtime Documentary Films

A notable omission from Nothing Compares, the new Showtime documentary about Sinéad O’Connor, is the singer’s smash hit recording of the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares 2 U.”  In fact, a message on the screen during the film reads, “The Prince estate denied use of Sinéad‘s recording of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ in this film.”  Director Kathryn Ferguson told ABC Audio she wasn’t sure why they turned down the request — but now we know.

One of Prince’s heirs, half-sister Sharon Nelson, explained the decision in a statement to Billboard.

“I didn’t feel [Sinéad] deserved to use the song my brother wrote in her documentary so we declined,” Nelson said.

But there’s another reason: Nelson said in her statement that “nothing compares” to Prince’s 1992 live version of the song — included on his 1993 album Hits 1 — that he recorded with singer Rosie Gaines. The estate just happens to be rereleasing that album on vinyl on November 4.

It’s not clear why Nelson and her siblings felt that Sinéad “didn’t deserve” to use the recording. In Sinéad’s 2021 memoir, Rememberings, she claims that when she met Prince, he criticized her for using profanity in interviews and then challenged her to a pillow fight. She also claims he put something in the pillow that would hurt her. 

After leaving, Sinéad writes of Prince, “I never wanted to see that devil again.” 

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